Tommy Rivers
Photo credit: Craft Sportswear

Ultra-Athlete Tommy Rivers Diagnosed With Rare Lymphoma

After sudden hospitalization and uncertainty, runner Tommy Rivers finally has a diagnosis.

After weeks of tests at hospitals across the country, Tommy Rivers, 35, finally has a diagnosis for his condition, which first presented with respiratory distress. Yesterday, his doctors diagnosed him with an aggressive form of cancer called NK/T-cell lymphoma.

Tommy Rivers is an ultrarunner, iFit Trainer, endurance coach, and all-around athlete from Flagstaff, Arizona. He’s lovingly known as “Puzey” or “Tommy Rivs” on social media.

“It wouldn’t be Rivs unless it was rare and aggressive. My man has been diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary NK T-Cell Lymphoma,” wrote Steph Rivers, Tommy’s wife. “It was suspected all along, but because of its rarity and even rarer presentation in Rivs’ lungs … [we explored other options] before the Mayo Clinic made its final diagnosis.”

Tommy Rivs’ Current Condition

Early speculation included a possible COVID diagnosis, but tests came back negative for coronavirus. Rivers’ condition requires constant hospitalization. He remains on a ventilator but is stable, Rivers’ brother wrote in an update on social media.

Rivers’ wife, friends, and family are still asking support during this time. Their GoFundMe will go towards paying Rivers’ medical bills and supporting the family. Any extra funds the family does not need they will donate to the Navajo Nation.

You can donate here.

If you can’t donate, you can show support for Rivers in other ways. Join #TeamRivs, #RunforRivs, and #RideforRivs initiatives on social media to show solidarity.

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Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.